Saturday, March 25, 2017

Mexico: Call to Family, Community and Participation

    The 4th Sunday of Lent featured Mexico and the amazing works of Catholic Relief Services RICE BOWL in that country.
   The Christ our Hope Catholic Church Sunday Soup Supper after the 7 pm mass celebrated with a MEXICAN FIESTA. Our very own parishioner and intern Celina Ruiz-Dzilenski gave a beautiful testimony of her Catholic Faith and what Lent means to her.
     Celina is originally from Chiapas, Mexico. Chiapas is the "very last state of Mexico by the Guatemalan border". She is finishing her Masters in Leadership at Seattle University this June. She shared with me that she's doing her project with a focus on senior women. During the CRS RICE BOWL awareness presentation,  Celina shared the joy and blessing she felt when Pope Francis visited her home state in Mexico last year. She said she was so thankful for the gift of Faith that her parents had cultivated in her. She added "It made me the person that I am today". She encouraged the parish community in attendance to ensure that they pass the same Faith to their children. Celina finished her testimony with a beautiful CRS Prayer in Spanish.

Celina Ruiz-Dzilenski giving a beautiful tesimoony of Faith

     It was  a reminder to all of us of the CRS Teaching ....... 
Call to Family, Community and Participation
   "Catholic social teaching inspires and guides how we are to live and work in the world. In this principle, Call to Family, Community and Participation, we remember that human beings are social by nature-we need each other. We, like the early disciples, are called to come together and grow as a community-whether that community is in our classroom, workplace or family"

Encounter: Maria

CRS's presence in Mexico had been in existence since 1943.
     Although Mexico has one of the largest economies in Latin America, half of its population lives in poverty. Ongoing economic and social concerns in addition to drug trafficking, violence and organized crime are increasing the number of people forcefully displaced from their homes and businesses. 84% of over 120 Million  Mexicans are Catholics. 
                                All CRS Mexico programs promote financial education through -----SILC
 (Savings and Internal Lending Communities).

In 2016, Pope Francis visited the border and focused on migrants
Ciudad Juarez (across El Paso, TX)  is “a highly significant location in terms of the human and social problems faced by Mexico and the continent as a whole,” 
 In addition to visiting a prison, meeting with workers and celebrating Mass, the Pope went to the border, where he approached the metal fence and greeted migrants
Migrants and refugees fleeing though Mexico are very vulnerable to kidnapping and extortion and assault and even death. There‘s a need for stronger protection of those immigrant and refugee children. … Because of the corruption pervasive throughout Mexico, many of the police and border officials and others who should be protecting them are often preying on these migrants and refugees.”
CRS working with Migrants
sponsored the Lenten Soup Supper a la FIESTA

The parishioners and some Josephinum residents were served the traditional Tortilla and Posole soups with traditional toppings, Arroz Rojo (a Lenten recipe courtesy of the CRS Ambassadors), flour tortilla and bread donated by Essentials baking company.
was more than present at 
Christ Our Hope Catholic Church
It was shared...

By : Cate Lichten
CRS Ambassador
Christ Our Hope Catholic Church
Seattle, WA

Sunday, March 19, 2017

El Salvador: Dignity of Work and Rights of Workers

CRS RiceBowl El Salvador week reminded us of the Dignity of Work and Rights of Workers

 "Catholic social teaching inspires and guides how we are to live and work in the world. In this principle, Dignity of Work and Rights of Workers, we remember that Jesus spent years working as a carpenter. Work is important to help people live good lives, and so people must be paid a fair wage to provide for themselves and their families."
   The 3rd week of #encounterLent marked the anniversary of the Blessed Oscar Romero's death in San Salvador, El Salvador. #Christourhope catholic church Lenten Soup Supper spotlighted El Salvador. 

         The Blessed Archbishop Oscar Romero was assassinated while celebrating mass in San Salvador,  this week March 24, 1980, 37 years ago . 
He was God’s messenger of Hope and an emblem and a fighter for Social Justice in that country.
FOR DECADES, Injustice and Inequality were clouts that have lived in the core of the country Because of these that Poverty, Human Migration  and Violence continued to exist in El Salvador. It has one the highest murder rates and one of the poorest in the world.

    Catholic Relief Services and Youthbuild International partnered to empower the Youth to promote peacebuilding in El Salvador through its youth violence prevention programs.

   Millions of young people around the world have energy, talent, and intelligence that are being wasted solely for lack of opportunity. There are at least 2.3 million low-income 16-24 year-olds in the United States who are not in education, employment, or training.
   Globally, over 200 million youth are working poor and earning less than $2.00 a day. All are in urgent need of pathways to education, jobs, entrepreneurship, and other opportunities leading to productive livelihoods and community leadership.
   YouthBuild programs provide those pathways. All over the world they unleash the positive energy of low-income young people to rebuild their communities and their lives, breaking the cycle of poverty with a commitment to work, education, family, and community.

      Here’s the story of Fernando

    The money that we donate to the Catholic Relief Services thru the CRS Rice Bowl - 25% of that come back to our very own community

    The Sunday Soup Supper was started with a presentation on the CRS Rice Bowl and Youthbuild programs in El Salvador and followed by an opening prayer by Fr Paul. The CRS Ambassadors made a traditional El Salvadrorian Pupusa with cheese ( see for recipe). Marc and Katherine donated 3 soups. Paul and Jen for the scones and cookies. #Essentialbakingcompany donated the bread.

Pupusas with cheese

 Global Solidarity in out little corner of the world

    During the soup supper, the parish community and some Joesphinum reesidents watched videos of the CRS Youthbuild International Programs and the movie " Romero".

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Zambia: Sacredness and Dignity of the Human Person

The CRS had served almost 1.2 million people in  Zambia...

and on the second Sunday of Lent at Christ Our Hope, we are reminded again of the 

"Sacredness and Dignity of the Human Person"

Catholic social teaching inspires and guides how we are to live and work in the world. In this principle, Sacredness and Dignity of the Human Person, we remember that, when God created us, he made us in his image and likeness. That means that every human being has a special value and purpose. We need to care for each other so that we can be the people God calls us to be.
During this weeks Lenten Soup Supper, we witnessed the story of Hope from Zambia - the story of Evelina Banda.

We started with a prayer before soup service.  Kristi, Stu and family  and their neighbor Linda donated the delicious soups that served about  60 parishioners and residents of the Josephinum. The CRS Ambassadors also made a nutritious and traditional Zambian soup called " Ifisashi" from the website lenten recipes. It was surprisingly so easy to make using just 5 ingredients .

   CRS Ambassador Cynthia gave a testimony about her mission trip to Africa - and how it changed her life and had left a motivation to do more for the church.
   Here's a picture collage from last Sunday's soup supper-

With the generosity of our parish community, we continue to celebrate the Lenten season with soup suppers in fellowship and continue to learn about the incredible works of CRS. 

Friday, March 10, 2017

India : Options for the Poor

   The first Sunday of Lent CRS Operation Rice Bowl featured the country of India. It focused on Options for the Poor.

Catholic Relief Services wrote:

    "Catholic social teaching inspires and guides how we are to live and work in the world. In this principle, Option for the Poor, Jesus tells us to give special care to those who are most in need. He reminds us of our Christian duty to give a voice to those who are unheard and to help those who are most vulnerable."

   Here's a video of the Singh Family:


   Christ our Hope Catholic Church started its Lenten CRS Rice Bowl Awareness Soup Suppers  organized by the CRS Ambassadors and the COH Outreach Committee. After the Sunday 7 pm mass, we started with a video featuring India and a prayer by Fr Paul while the attendees waited for the soup service. Rachel and Jay (both from India and also two of our COH Parishioners) gave a beautiful testimony of how it was, growing up as a catholic in India. They shared their stories of challenge and hope. It was a heartwarming message.

   In India, there are over 250 million people living at $1.90 a day, while over 48 million (39%) of children under age five suffer from stunting—an indicator of chronic malnutrition. In addition, human trafficking remains a major concern throughout the country while natural and man-made disasters continue to affect India every year. CRS works with Caritas India and other local partners; international and regional NGOs; and the US Government, private foundations and other donors to respond to these needs. (CRS Ric Bowl)

   Rachel witnessed that in India, "most Catholics were under the caste system as untouchables". But with great catholic influential people in their communities, they were able to achieve a better future. Jay and Rachel also brought a traditional Indian Soup called Daal which was was served over rice. Katherine H. donated a pot of vegetable soup and the CRS Ambassadors made a traditional peasant food called Dalma with Spinach - a featured Indian recipe at the CRS Rice Bowl website.

    Here's a video of how to make Dalma:
   The event was a success. We served to approximately 80 plus residents, parishioners and visitors. The message of global solidarity was apparent in our church that night - our very own parish community solidarity.
   St. Mother Theresa reminded us again why she dedicated her life to serving the poor of India through her words: 

Let's continue to give back for a great cause. 
Donate to

Sunday, March 5, 2017

COH: Ash Wednesday/First Week of Lent

   First things first, Thank You to the leadership of the COH Outreach Committee, Hispanic Leadership and Fathers Paul and Rob.
   Christ our Hope started Lent celebration on February 26 after the 930 am mass with the spirit of #GlobalSolidarity in full gear. Joe Hastings, a MaryKnoll missionary to El Salvador (his most recent mission) and a CRS Ambassador of the Seattle Archdiocese offered a presentation about the great works of the Catholic Relief Services Rice Bowl in El Salvador.
   El Salvador is one of the densest and poorest countries in Central America. For decades, civil war had drastically changed the lives of so many citizens. The death of the Blessed Archbishop Romero had smashed down the hearts of so many people in El Salvador. Human migration is significantly rampant. People are fleeing the country just to meet merely their basic human needs and safety.
   Fernando is a young father of 2 from El Salvador. He continues to thrive everyday to support his family. Through the Catholic Relief Services, Fernando is learning new skills to provide a better life for his family. Check out the video below.

   It was a heartwarming presentation and a great reminder to all of us what we need to focus on -
the Trifecta of the Lenten Season  -
       Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving...
Pope Francis recently reminded us on social media:
 " Fasting is not only about abstaining from food, It also means sharing food with those who are hungry"

   On Ash Wednesday, the Lenten Soup Suppers began after the evening mass.  With the leadership of Maria and the culinary skills of Hector ,a hearty bowl of  lentil soup (appropriate for Lent - for Lentils - da dump chhhh!!!) and bread (donated weekly by Essential Baking Company in Georgetown) were served to our parish community and to the Josephinum residents . 
   The community started with a prayer led by Fr Paul and during the soup supper, we watched a poignant video of Thomas Awiapo on Lent (check our website too -

   It was a great start to our Lenten Celebration. What does Pope Francis (@Pontifex) say about @CatholicRelief Rice Bowl? Here are 5 ways #PopeFrancis supports us (thru his words)


   To learn more about CRS GLOBAL SOLIDARITY: go to